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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Justice Scott being tried in the media?

-As State holds evidence close to chest

State lawyers prosecuting former Chief Justice Gloria Scott and Family have fled to the Chambers Justice with an application/petition/ for a Writ of certiorari.

The writ of certiorari filed before the Supreme Court is meant to question the ruling of a judge, and in the instant case, Judge Roosevelt Willie of Criminal Court “A”.

Almost one week ago on Tuesday, July 4th, Judge Willie ruled ordering State lawyers to present to the Defense Team evidentiary materials they relied upon to indict the former chief justice and family members for murder.

Liberia Criminal Procedure Law requires that the defense in criminal cases must be provided all such materials. Instead of providing those materials by the close of last Wednesday July 5th as ordered by the Judge, Prosecution ran to Chambers Justice complaining about the order.

Meanwhile, the justice in Chambers has swiftly scheduled a hearing of the complaint for Wednesday July 12.

According to some legal luminaries, the moves by the State are all classic tales and to delay and procrastinate the trial.

One senior member and former associate Justice on Cllr. Scott’s legal team opined that it is clear that the government is grinding the wheels of justice towards the November Term of the circuit courts which will be after the October 10 elections.

This could even go into next year, he said, adding further that Prosecutors are showing all signs that the State does not have any evidence nor any desire to respect human rights in this matter.

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Speaking on the basis of anonymity, a Senior Barrister asked rhetorically: “then why did the government move to detain her at South beach if they were not ready to proceed to trial with all the so called evidence they are leaking in the media to create doubt and suspicion as if the accused were already guilty?”

Liberian criminal jurisprudence is based and founded on the doctrine of presumption of innocence. It states that an accused is innocent until proved guilty.

In this case, the government is said to be proceeding as if the Cllr. Scott and family members are all already guilty and just waiting for sentencing.

In the meantime, lawyers for the defense when contacted last week are of the considered opinion that it is rather, the State or the government which is on a malicious and wicked trial indulging in what is clearly a wanton misuse and abuse of state powers.

The defense lawyers decried the defiant posture and now willful display of what some term childish arrogance to exploit legal procedures and processes to intentionally neglect to provide the evidence upon which the State relied to prosecute the Former Chief Justice and her family members and to keep them behind bars.

 It can be recalled that on Tuesday last week, the former chief justice in her own defense – pro se, made a passionate closing argument before the court to grant her and her family members the right to bail on their personal recognizance since they have been constructively detained and in cooperation with the police authorities since February when the unfortunate incident occurred.”

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